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bmnb123
New Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2008 :  12:39:21  Show Profile Send bmnb123 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I saw this on slashdot.

schwit1 is just one of the massive flood of readers (and publications) writing to tell us about the recently declassified UK Ministry of Defense account of a supposed UFO sighting. Included are nineteen sightings between 1986 and 1992, with the most notable being a sighting in 1991 with a US Air Force pilot's first-hand account. Not that this lends an air of credibility to anything, just more papers with more words. "Almost 200 such files will be made available by the MoD over the next four years. [...] UFO expert and journalism lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, Dr David Clarke, said the documents would shed new light on relatively little-known sightings. He said some conspiracy theorists would already have decided that the release of the papers was a 'whitewash.' He added: 'Because the subject is bedevilled by charlatans and lunatics, it is career suicide to have your name associated with UFOs, which is a real pity. The National Archives are doing a fantastic job here. Everyone brings their own interpretation. Now you can look at the actual primary material the stuff coming into the MoD every day and make your own mind up.'"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk/7679145.stm


bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2008 :  16:07:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
bmnb123.....

Bring it on! There have been numerous "UFO" sightings in many countries over the past sixty-odd years that have been investigated with varying degrees of thoroughness and impartiality. In the past, I have done a good deal of research on this subject, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there have been a significant number of well-investigated sightings that remained "unexplained" despite very serious effort to find an explanation.

Having said that with absolute conviction, I must also state that I emphatically do not attribute these unexplained and investigated sightings to extraterrestrial activity of any kind. Neither can I rule out such an explanation - there simply has not been any confirmed or substantiated evidence of any kind for the actual nature of these sightings. They are simply without explanation of any nature, other than speculation.

It is fair to say that over the past sixty years there have been many unusual, even bizzare, things in the sky that despite intense, serious effort; have not been explained! For Christ's sake, Sarah Palin is up there somewhere right now, flying to yet another assembly of awestruck assholes!

I personally believe that there is a very low statistical probability that these fully investigated yet unexplained sightings are actually due to supernatural, extraterrestrial, paranormal, or other exotic causation. I do not say that such causation is impossible, just damn unlikely!

I once contributed heavily to almost thirty pages of excited discussion of this subject on this forum that probably is in the archives by now! I don't particularly want to retrace that well-worn path unless there are those here now that are highly warmed to the subject! But I remain intensely interested in the subject as an example of one of the remarkable variants of human perception!
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  07:56:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[i]Originally posted by bngbuck

I personally believe that there is a very low statistical probability that these fully investigated yet unexplained sightings are actually due to supernatural, extraterrestrial, paranormal, or other exotic causation. I do not say that such causation is impossible, just damn unlikely!


That's how I see it. Extraterrestrial is not impossible....but damn close. I consider the crossed out one's impossible. Not sure what you even mean by "other exotic causation" unless your referring to weather balloons and swamp gas.

I think "other causation" is probably responsible for 100% of sightings....which includes everything from real planes and helicopters to fakers (that's a huge one) and weather balloons....etc....

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  08:21:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Speed of light limitations and the known Laws of Physics make visits from extraterrestrial species unlikely to the very point of impossibility, and therefore unworthy of consideration other than for amusement. Me, I'm a Trekkie from way back, but I really don't expect any opportunity to get it on with a foxy Klingon chick or the equivalent, ever. Alas.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  15:01:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Astropin.....

I consider the crossed out one's impossible.
Astropin, please define clearly for me how you, or anyone, can know what is "impossible".
1 a : incapable of being or of occurring : not within the realm of the possible : contrary to the nature of reality

The word "impossible" has some legitimate uses, such as describing certain language constructions that are self-contradictory, mathematics not conforming to agreed-upon criteria for that form of mathematics, the endeavor of attempting to find a vestige of a brain under Sarah Palin's windswept hairdo, and discovering either a current photo or a valid last name for Dave W. Anger management for Dude is properly described by the "impossible" adjective, also.

But unless you have word from God or the Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi (fuck God, he doesn't exist, and the Oracle got so pythed off when they invented Wiki, she hasn't spoken since) - unless you already know all that we as a civilization have left to learn, I would be very cautious about tossing the word "impossible" around loosely!
Not sure what you even mean by "other exotic causation" unless your (sic - you're) referring to weather balloons and swamp gas.
Other possible exotic ideas for explaining UFO's.

1. Time travel. (Pretty science-fiction!)

2. Visitors from another space-time dimension. (More Sci-Fi)

3. Extremely unusual weather phenomena involving clouds, starlight, moonlight, Northern lights - whatever! (Mysterious "night lights"?)

4. Highly unusual and rare experimental aircraft from the US and other nations, both manned and unmanned, capable of manuevers that conventional aircraft (known aircraft) cannot perform. (YES,yes,yes)

I personally feel that this is by far the most probable of all the "exotic" explanations that I have examined - and that's quite a few.

5. Swamp gas and weather balloons are possibilities; but, by now being household words, not exactly "exotic".

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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  15:47:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Filthy.....

Speed of light limitations and the known Laws of Physics make visits from extraterrestrial species unlikely to the very point of impossibility, and therefore unworthy of consideration other than for amusement.
Filth, I hate to disagree with you because you're right more often than anyone else around here, but I gotta say that your above statement implies several things that just ain't necessarily so, as Sportin' Life would say!

1. Speed of light limitations
Given the current extremely unsettled condition of Particle Physics, and the almost as uncertain situation prevailing in Astrophysics, the Einstienian dogma concerning the speed of light may or may not hold in the future development of both disciplines. Until a Unified Field Theory that is mathematically bulletproof is finally devised (some think that that will never happen), all bets are off as to much of what is presently thought to be The Final Word (actually, the Current Approximation) in all of the branches of physics.

2. The known Laws of Physics
The known laws of physics are almost inevitably going to evolve into laws of physics that are currently unknown. This has been true since before Newton, through Einstein, through Max Planck, into current considerations of Geoffrey Chew and Steven Frautschi and the naming of "String Theory" by Nambu and Susskind.
make visits from extraterrestrial species unlikely to the very point of impossibility, and therefore unworthy of consideration other than for amusement.
Filth, old buddy, I fear you lack imagination. First, it is nearly impossible to demonstrate that there never has been an extraterrestrial visitor in the entire history of this planet!

If the human race knew, beyond any possibility of any doubt, that 185K+mps was an absolute limitation on the speed that a particle could travel, it would make ExTerrVis a lot less likely. But not to the point of impossibility! You have to reserve that for the likelihood of Mabuse loving America some time in the future, or Kil stopping being such a goody two-shoes nice guy! He'll never be a SOB!

And the weird theoretical speculations about the possibility of "wormholes" in the curved matrix of the space-time continuum, leaves at least a possibility that the speed of light limitation may not be the final word in determining whether or not there has been or ever will be ExTerrVis in the future!
unworthy of consideration other than for amusement.
I emphatically think not! Depends on how large a time-frame you would put on that statement!

"From the beginning of the formation of the Earth to the end-time when the Earth is no more, there never has been or never will be a visitor from another planet or galaxy" NEVER! I can not or would not make that statement!

I do not believe that extraterrestrials are currently visiting us, I cannot state that it is nearly impossible! There are too many variables!
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25975 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  16:29:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Filth, old buddy, I fear you lack imagination. First, it is nearly impossible to demonstrate that there never has been an extraterrestrial visitor in the entire history of this planet!
It's also nearly impossible to demonstrate that there never has been a leprechaun in my basement.

This is simply poor argumentation. As is relying upon imagination without evidence for maintaining that something might be "possible" at some unknown point in the future. The fact that prior science has been wrong is no predictor that any particular science we have now will be shown to be wrong.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  17:15:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I won't deal with wonky hypotheticals on this. I need some sound theory and as far as I have read, there is as yet none. Perhaps this will change and I among many others will look like fools. Again. Or perhaps not....

There's yet another consideration: why bother? What would an interstellar visitor find here? An ecologically abused planet dominated by a highly aggressive, prolific and xenophobic species that would cheerfully take their stuff and boil their carcasses down for the tallow. And if there had been visitors before our species came on the scene, they left scant evidence of it; not even a coprolite.

But alas, I am not Nostradamus and cannot predict the distant future even as well as that fascinating, old fraud. But if I could, with any degree of accuracy, I would be much surprised to envision their arrival.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  23:56:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave.....

It's also nearly impossible to demonstrate that there never has been a leprechaun in my basement.
However it is quite possible to demonstrate that there is an burr in your saddle!
As is relying upon imagination without evidence for maintaining that something might be "possible" at some unknown point in the future.
And how about maintaining that something (anything) is barely to the point of possibility at any point in the future (term unknown)? That is rationality? Please demonstrate with "good" argumentation.

You perhaps have "evidence" of that that is to happen in the future?

Please clue me in!


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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  00:02:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Filthy.....

There's yet another consideration: why bother? What would an interstellar visitor find here?
What do we find in the Galapagos Islands? What do we find in the Sonoran desert? What do we find in the outback of Australia?

I know a guy here on this forum that is damned interested in all of that, and a whole lot more!

Answer your question?
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  03:58:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Filthy.....

There's yet another consideration: why bother? What would an interstellar visitor find here?
What do we find in the Galapagos Islands? What do we find in the Sonoran desert? What do we find in the outback of Australia?

I know a guy here on this forum that is damned interested in all of that, and a whole lot more!

Answer your question?
Galapagos Isles: Vampire Finches.

Sonoran Desert: Scorpions.

Ozzie outback: Moloch horridus

But would it, with all of the rest of the universe to explore, be worth it considering all of the probable & vicious conflicts with the dominant species that would occur? Not even God could be so stupid.

With these and so many other natural wonders to behold, we still want aliens?




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  08:35:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We just don't get to raise ideas born of imagination, which is a good thing, to actual hypotheticals without a means for testing. While it's true that all theories are held tentatively, it doesn't follow that our best theories will fail. The lack of absolute certainty about any conclusion in science is not license to challenge those theories on the basis of what might be possible without some evidence to support such an investigation.

If we were to go that route, science itself would become a joke. All flights of imagination would be equal in a scientific sense. And really, there are so many of them out there, where would we begin?

Were not stuck with what we know now, but there has to be a reason to pursue a scientific investigation to further what we know now. And that happens all the time. But again, it happens because there is a testable hypothesis based on evidence that suggests that there is more to know.

We can imagine all kinds of things that might lead to future investigation. But so what? The avenues worthy of pursuit must show some promise. And so far, the physical restraints of long distance space travel at faster than light speeds is not one of them.

It's way easy to muse about the future. That's what Sci Fi writers often do. And good on them. Some of their flights of fancy have become a reality. But most have not...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  09:41:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do believe that a civilization smart and curious enough to develop the technology for space travel will be curious enough to be interested in us.

Other considerations may prevent them from doing it; maybe something like the Prime Directive or the fact that, indeed, we are highly aggressive and maybe the aliens would be scared of you (picture hippy aliens stating: 'These guys are crazy duuuuudes' to his hippy supervisor).

But certainly, the temptation would be strong on them...


That being said; there is no evidence that this is taking place. We don't have any firm indications that earth is being visited and most of these 'clues' can be explained by natural phenomenons and most of the 'alien theories' are self-contradictory or not making sense (they are so secretive yet do giant crop circles?; They abduct 1000s of people rather than just run through or garbage and clones as much specimen as they need? Not to mention while kidnapping people from highly developed region were kidnapping citizens from developing countries would hardly be noticed? And while human; while we are at it? Chimp have 98% of our genetic material...)

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25975 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  10:00:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

And how about maintaining that something (anything) is barely to the point of possibility at any point in the future (term unknown)? That is rationality? Please demonstrate with "good" argumentation.

You perhaps have "evidence" of that that is to happen in the future?

Please clue me in!
I was under the impression that by using qualifiers as in "known laws of physics," it was clear that the statement of impossibility was based upon what we actually know right now, and rejecting of speculative, evidence-free possibilities, including the one you're trying to inject (but which nobody said), "what we know now will never change."

Right now FTL travel and wormhole travel are impossibilities (in principle and practically, respectively). If our knowledge (and thus this conclusion) changes, that'd be great. I'm not holding my breath.

To suggest that because our knowledge might change in some unspecified way at some unspecified time, we should not call these things impossible is to (as Kil noted) open the door to consideration of any nutball thing anyone might dream up. Or do you think it must be possible (even if wildly unlikely) that Ricky might poop out a full-size, functional SUV?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  10:12:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or do you think it must be possible (even if wildly unlikely) that Ricky might poop out a full-size, functional SUV?
No, but the evidence gleaned from past experience quite clearly shows that he could get run over by one.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  11:09:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil, Dave, and Filthy, .....

Kil has eloquently made my point to Filthy, and indirectly, to the grumpy Dave!
We just don't get to raise ideas born of imagination, which is a good thing, to actual hypotheticals without a means for testing.
And that is precisely the process that has been going on for a very long time in the physical sciences, and will continue unabated into to the future. As I pointed out, from the ancient Greeks, to Newton, to Einstien, to Murray Gell-Mann; scientists imagine, hypothesize, experiment, and constantly revise and refine the existimg dogma of the day. To make a statement that:
This is simply poor argumentation. As is relying upon imagination without evidence for maintaining that something might be "possible" at some unknown point in the future.
is simply massively missing the point. I do not in anyway suggest that "imagination' take the place of discovery, hypothecation, testing, theorizing, further refinement by more experimentation and testing, finally defining an accurate and workable description of a phenomenon or process - whatever the goal of the SM applied to scientific progress in any field may be.

But to suggest that particle physics, astrophysics, or any branch of science is not changing as we speak, that our understanding will change in ways that we cannot possibly "imagine" today, is creating a gigantic straw caricature of my comment in order to apply the "evidence" torch to it.

relying upon imagination without evidence for maintaining that something might be "possible" at some unknown point in the future
What imagination of what? What "thing" may be possible?---more to the point, what "thing" will be impossible?

Good god, what a stretch - all I am saying is that a position that certain things are "impossible' because no evidence has yet been discovered is a massively arrogant statement of omniscience! The only thing that is certain beyond any question is that our understanding of all things will change - in degrees varying from extreme to very small - with the passage of time and the progress of careful, disciplined scientific enquiry fully following every detailed step of the scientific method of investigating the unknowns of the universe.

I would not possibly position myself as to the details of what will and will not be discovered in any future time frame. But to state that anything that is logically conceivable in principle is next to the point of impossibility because currently there is no evidence for it, is the same as saying that it is statistically extremely unlikely that such an event will ever occur. I see this as presumptive of a prescience and possessive of a omniscience that no human being can possibly possess. Except in certain very narrow meanings, the word 'Impossible" is anathema to me!
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